For the remainder of the school year, Hebrew Academy students are forbidden to wear blankets during the school day, making them wonder how they are going to endure the school’s often frigid temperature.
“I am really mad because it’s freezing,” said Maya Somek (11th grade). “If they don’t let us wear blankets, then at least turn the air up.”
The administration, who announced the new rule on the first day of the second semester this week, says the wearing of blankets ruins the clean-cut look students should be striving for.
“The blanket is not part of the uniform,” said Judaic Studies Principal Rabbi Assaraf. “It takes a properly dressed student and makes them appear shlumpy. We have a nice dress code that gives stability. Dragging a blanket on the floor undermines this.”
But many students worry how they will manage without the one thing that keeps them warm.
“When I am really cold, I can’t concentrate well,” said Yael Bister (9th). “The blanket helps me concentrate more.”
Other students called the move callous, citing the already strict limitations of their outerwear options.
“They are limiting our sweater choices, which warms us up, and taking away our blankets, which also keeps us warm,” said Yael Bramy (11th). “It’s a bit cruel.”
The air conditioning in the school works on an automatic blower system. Each floor has a only a few blowers, and the classrooms closer to the blowers are colder, while those further away are warmer, creating a variety of temperatures throughout the school. Add that to the fact that because the building is old not all the vents work properly, and students, often freezing in one class, need to shed layers in their next class.
“If we can’t wear blankets, or the sweater we want, then they should put the air at a reasonable temperature, not 77 degrees in one classroom and 65 in another,” said Barby Mohadeb (12th).
Assaraf suggested girls wear leggings to keep them warm, but many say that won’t help.
“Leggings are unreasonable, said Eden Grosz (10th). “It’s cold in some classes and not in others. I am not going between classes to take them on and off.”
Not all students are outraged at the change. Some embrace the new policy.
“I’m for the ban,” said Raquel Zohar (10th). “I do think it makes the school look a little less professional, and the blankets take away from the serious environment of the classroom. But at the same time, it is absolutely freezing in this building.”
Others had ideas for a compromise, saying the blankets could be made a part of the uniform.
“I think we should be allowed to wear blankets, as long as there is a school logo,” Mohadeb said.
By: Michal Cohen (11th grade)